Do You Realize That Everyone You Know Someday Will Die???

“Go, go, go, go, go you restless soul you’re gonna find it”

Do you realize that everyone you know – and every musician you’d like to know – someday will die?  2009 saw an unusually large death of prominent musician (Ron Asheton, Lux Interior, Uriel Jones, Jay Bennett, Hugh Hopper, Sky Saxson, Michael Jackson, Les Paul, Jim Carroll, Jack Rose, James Gurley, Vic Chesnutt, Rowland S. Howard, Mike Seeger, Mary Travers, David “Fathead” Newman, Billy Powell, Billy Lee Riley, Estelle Bennett, Louie Bellson, Koko Taylor, Sam Taylor, John Martyn, Dewey Martin, Andy Hughes, Ali Akbar Khan, Larry Knetchtel,  Johnny Carter, Ellie Greenwich and James “The Rev” Sullivan among them)… but the first few months of 2010 felt worse… 

“Malcolm Mclaren is dead. Wow.” 11:33 AM Apr 8th via web (aka Flaming Lips’ live guitarist Derek Brown) 

It’s a weird time to be a music fan: tweets tributing a recently deceased cult legend are just as likely to fill your head as the sweet sounds of a new and exciting song.  Such was the case when Mick Green, Jay Reatard, Neil Young’s film/ archivist collaborator L.A. Johnson and iconic photographer Jim Marshall recently died.  Perhaps the saddest  example came on March 6, 2010 after Mark Linkous -Sparklehorse leader, Daniel Johnston producer, all-star collaborator (Tom Waits, PJ Harvey, The Flaming Lips, Danger Mouse) – shot himself in the heart outside his friend’s Knoxville, Tenn. home…  just a week after it was announced his notoriously unreleased album Dark Night of the Soul (with Danger Mouse, David Lynch, The Flaming Lips, Julian Casablancas, Gruff Rhys, Jason Lytle, James Mercer and many more) would be officially issued, and with work on a new album approaching completion. 

“Mark Linkous toured with us in 2003.Every night he and I would share a quiet moment with a shot of whiskey and a few laughs.A nice memory.” 8:50 PM Mar 7th via Echofon – 

“R.I.P. Mark Linkous. You were a kind soul…” 8:53 AM Mar 7th via web – 

“It sucks. He was a really sweet guy and had a heart of gold and we’ll miss him very much. Not to mention the fact that he was incredibly talented and made amazing music.” Posted March 12, 2010 12:56 AM “Ask Kliph” flaminglips.infopop 

The Flaming Lips paid tribute to Linkous at their next couple of shows, dedicating “Waitin’ For a Superman” (played for the only times since New Year’s Eve 2007, also the only performances of a song off The Soft Bulletin in 2010… so far) preluded by touching banter from Wayne. 

Sadly, soon after those tributes another death shocked the indie rock world: Alex Chilton.  Scheduled to perform at SXSW the Saturday after his death (of a heart attack), a tribute gig took its place, and musicians came out in droves: Curt Kirkwood (Meat Puppets), Mike Mills (R.E.M.), John Doe (X), M. Ward, Evan Dando (Lemonheads), Chris Stamey (dB’s), Chuck Prophet,  Sondre Lerche, several Posies, Jody Stephens of Big Star and others – quite a line-up for a short notice event… 

“I’ll always have “Blue Moon” by Big Star to warm my heart and make me cry. RIP Alex Chilton” 7:14 AM Mar 18th via web –

“R.I.P. Alex Chilton. Thank you for all of your wonderful music and thanks for being so sweet to me when I met you.” 4:50 AM Mar 18th via web –

Wayne and Alex at “2006 Southern Comfort Music Experience with Flaming Lips and Big Star”

May 21, 2006 – Centennial Park, Atlanta (photo by Frank Mullen) _aaa9419.jpg 

Psych Exploration of the Future Heart is an upcoming publication.  Find out more at and

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